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10/29/2014

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4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autoimmune - DrAxe

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4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease


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Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing


condition that millions of people are
struggling with and dont even know it.
From the sound of it, you might think
leaky gut syndrome only affects the
digestive system but in reality it can lead
to many other health conditions.
According to research, leaky gut could be
the cause of your food allergies, low
energy, joint pain, thyroid disease,
autoimmune conditions and slow
metabolism.
In this article I will outline specifically how you can heal leaky gut syndrome and
breakthrough the health problems youve been struggling with.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?


Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it
that only allow specific substances to pass through. Your gut lining works as a
barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.
When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal
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permeability) the net in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even
bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally cant pass through, are
now be able to. Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like
gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak
from the inside of your intestinal wall into your blood stream causing an immune
reaction.1

Leaky Gut Symptoms and Progression

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This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms, such
as:
Bloating
Food sensitivities
Thyroid conditions
Fatigue
Joint pain
Headaches
Skin issues like rosacea and acne
Digestive problems
Weight gain
Syndrome X

One of the biggest warning signs that you may have leaky gut can be that youre
experiencing multiple food sensitivities. Partially digested protein and fat can seep
through your intestinal lining making their way into your bloodstream which will
cause an allergic response.
This allergic response doesnt mean youll break out in a rash all over your body,
but it can lead to one of the symptoms Ive mentioned above. And, if left unhttp://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/

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repaired can lead to more severe health issues like inflammatory bowel disease,
IBS, arthritis, eczema,2 psoriasis,3 depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, muscle
pain and chronic fatigue.
According to the Journal of Diabetes there is a strong body of evidence pointing to
leaky gut as a major cause of autoimmune diseases including Type 1 Diabetes.4
Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals
and nutrients including zinc, iron and vitamin B12.

What Causes Leaky Gut?


There are 4 main causes of leaky gut which include:
Poor diet
Chronic stress
Toxin overload
Bacterial imbalance.5

Were about to cover some in-depth nutrition here. Read carefully, and in a few
sections I will outline the top 5 Foods and Supplements to heal your leaky gut
The most common components of food that can damage your intestinal lining are
the proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar, GMOs, and conventional dairy.
The problem with unsprouted grains is they contain large amounts of nutrient
blockers called phytates and lectins. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that act as
a natural defense system for plants that protect them from outside invaders like
mold and parasites.
This is good news for plants but bad news for your body.
Your digestive lining is covered with sugar containing cells that help break down
your food. Lectins gravitate toward this area and when they attach to your
digestive lining it damages your gut, causing inflammation.

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Lectins and Foods that Cause Leaky Gut


Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts
your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large amounts of lectins
like wheat, rice, spelt, and soy are more problematic.
Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, and makes these
foods easier to digest.
GMO and hybridized foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been
modified to fight off bugs.
Also, gluten containing grains will damage your intestinal lining causing leaky gut.
So while you are working to heal your system stay away from all grains especially
ones that contain gluten like wheat. Once your gut is healthy you can add back in
grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.
Conventional cows milk is another food that can cause leaky gut. The component
of dairy that will harm your gut is the protein A1 Casein. Also, the pasteurization
process will destroy vital enzymes making sugars like lactose very difficult to
digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying dairy that is raw and from: A2
cows, goats, sheep, or buffalo.
Sugar is another substance that will wreak havoc on your digestive system. Sugar
will feed the growth of yeast, candida, and bad bacteria which will further damage
your gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage
healthy cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.

Other Factors that Cause Leaky Gut


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Chronic stress weakens your immune system over time which cripples your ability
to fight off foreign invaders like bad bacteria and viruses leading to inflammation
and leaky gut. To reduce stress I recommend getting more sleep, schedule fun
into your week, rest one day a week, meditate on scripture, and hang out with
positive uplifting people.
Toxins. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single
year but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides,
tap water, aspirin, and NSAIDS. I recommend buying a high quality water filter to
eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant based herbs to reduce
inflammation in your body.
Dysbiosis. Finally, one of the leading causes of leaky gut is a condition called
dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of
bacteria in your gut. For many, this imbalance can begin at birth because of a Csection or because the mother didnt have a healthy gut herself. The overuse of
prescription antibiotic drugs, tap water with chlorine and fluoride, and the lack of
probiotic rich foods contribute to this imbalance of good and bad bacteria.

Leaky Gut and the Brain


Another topic I want to quickly discuss is
how leaky gut can affect the brain. If youve
ever seen a child with autism experience a
mood swing, this can be caused by
intestinal permeability. Gluten and CaseinFree Diets have proven effective for many
children with autism because these proteins
can leak through the gut and then
recirculate and act on the brain similarly to
an opioid drug.
This is also why leaky gut has been linked to other psychological disorders such as
anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. So, in many cases, if you can heal the gut
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you can heal the brain.

The 4-Step Plan to Heal Leaky Gut


The good news is theres a solution to healing leaky gut. There is a four step
process that includes:
1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut
2. REPLACE with healing foods
3. REPAIR with specific supplements
4. REBALANCE with probiotics

Heres the protocol I have used with my patients over the years that has helped
them see incredible results.
Remember, the top foods to remove that cause leaky gut are sugar, grains,
conventional meat, conventional dairy and GMO foods. The top toxic exposures to
eliminate are tap water, pesticides, NSAIDS, and antibiotics but remember to
always consult with your physician if he has prescribed these for you.

The Leaky Gut Diet and 5 Healing Foods


#1 Bone Broth broth contains collagen and the amino acids
proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls.
Ive had many of my patients do a bone broth fast for 3 days to
help rapidly repair leaky gut.

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#2 Raw Cultured Dairy - contains both probiotics and SCFAs


that can help heal the gut. Pastured kefir, yogurt, amasai,
butter, and raw cheese are some of the best.

#3 Fermented Vegetables - contain organic acids that balance


intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut,
Kimchi, and Kvass are excellent sources.

#4 Coconut Products all coconut products are especially


good for your gut. The MCFAs in coconut are easier to digest
than other fats so better for leaky gut. Also, coconut kefir
contains probiotics that support your digestive system.

#5 Sprouted seeds chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds


that have been sprouted are great sources of fiber that can
help support the growth of beneficial bacteria. But if you have
severe leaky gut, you may need to start out getting your fiber
from steamed vegetables and fruit.
Also, consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory Omega-3
fats are beneficial such as grass-fed beef, lamb, and wild
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caught fish like salmon.

Top 5 Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut


There are many supplements that support your digestive health but I believe the
most beneficial are: L-Glutamine, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Aloe Vera Juice,
and Licorice Root.
#1 Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish
good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria. I recommend getting probiotics in
both food and supplement form. I see people all the time only follow part of the
protocol in healing their gut by removing the damaging irritants. But the part they
often leave out is re-inoculating their gut with beneficial bacteria that will keep bad
bacteria at bay.
So load up on BOTH probiotic rich foods and take AT LEAST 50 billion units of
probiotics daily from a high quality brand.
#2 Digestive enzymes (one or two capsules at the beginning of each meal) ensure
that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested foods
particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall.
#3 L-Glutamine is critical for any program designed to heal leaky gut. Glutamine is
an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and
repair of your intestinal lining. L-glutamine acts a protector and coats your cell
walls, acting as a repellent to irritants. Take 2-5 grams 2x daily.6
#4 Licorice Root (DGL) is an adaptogenic herb that helps balance cortisol levels
and improves acid production in the stomach. DGL supports the bodys natural
processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum. This
herb is especially beneficial if someones leaky gut is being caused by emotional
stress. Take 500mg 2x daily.
#5 Quercetin has also been shown to improve gut barrier function by sealing the
gut because it supports creation of tight junction proteins. It also stabilizes mast
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cells and reduces the release of histamine which is common in food intolerance.
New studies have also shown its effectiveness in healing ulcerative colitis. Take
500mg 3x daily with meals.
If you can follow the above protocol you are well on your way to healing your gut
for good!
Enjoy even more information related to 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and
Autoimmune Disease with the Signs and Symptoms to look out for.

What Foods, Supplements or Natural Treatments have you found


help Heal Leaky Gut?
References:
Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). A brief evidence-based review of two
gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes. Alternative
Therapy Health Medicine 10 (3): 2230.
Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986).
Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema. Journal of Investigative
Dermatology 86 (2): 101104.
Humbert, P.; Bidet, A.; Treffel, P.; Drobacheff, C.; Agache, P. (1991). Intestinal
permeability in patients with psoriasis. Journal of dermatological science 2 (4):
324326.
Vaarala O, Atkinson MA, Neu J (2008) The Perfect Storm for Type 1 Diabetes The
Complex Interplay Between Intestinal Microbiota, Gut Permeability, and Mucosal
Immunity, Diabetes Journal, (57)10(2555-2562).
Z Liu, N Li, J Neu (2005) Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases,
Acta Paediatrica , 94(4), pp. 386-393.
Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness
and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria, Journal of Neuro
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Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.


Visser, J (2010). Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac
Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed.

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